Shooting Beauty Portraits – Fuji X-Pro1 vs Canon 5D Mk2 Review: DAY 254

EDIT – for more portraits with the Fuji X-Pro1 head over to my new blog

Here I go on another comparison test… I’ll say straight up its not very scientific in its methods considering the cameras had slight a difference in settings, plus the idea of doing a blog post like this was an after though. I was actually just taking pictures not testing cameras… But all the same I hope it’s of use to one or two people who want some more info on the differences/quality of these two camera systems.

So I wanted to shoot a couple of beauty portraits so I had my friend Samantha Englelbrecht come over, she is a model and actress so that was a big help. I wanted to stay away from the standard “BOOM’ flash with beauty dish, I wanted to get something a little softer, so I tested in daylight/available light.

I was using the Fuji X-Pro1 with the fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens and the Canon 5D mk2 with a Canon 50mm f1.2 Lens. These lens’ are a fairly good match up for comparisons.

I have been using the Fuji X-Pro1 almost all the time recently, on head shot jobs and even a whole fashion story, keep checking back as I will post those up soon… For this though I went straight to the Canon, I find it more of a go to camera for structured shoots like this. But I had the Fuji there next to me the whole time and snapped away a little more freely. I find I am more considered in composition with the Canon. Maybe that is due to its larger size and more professional feel, saying that it is probably just some little psychological nuance on my part. Although I find I am even more considered again when using a medium format system such as a Hassleblad with a PhaseOne back…

So enough talking lets see some pictures… Below are two shots, one from the Fuji X-Pro1 and one from the Canon 5Dmk2.

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/125 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 640

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/125 sec; f/1.4; ISO 640

Canon 5Dmk2: 1/100 sec;   f/2.0;   ISO 320

Canon 5Dmk2: 1/100 sec; f/2.0; ISO 320

Beautiful… I would say at a quick glance you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference, preference would come down to composition more than anything! So lets have a look at the process and some crops to see the differences.

Lets start with the shots as they are Straight out of camera (SOOC), so here I am opening up the process and letting you in on secrets as obviously the above images have been retouched, your about to see the difference before and after.

SOOC file comparison and adjustments in Capture One

SOOC file comparison and adjustments in Capture One

So as you can see the way the cameras handled the colour was fairly similar, I personally preferred the canon, but adjusted them both anyway to let a bit more light in and make them slightly cooler.

So now you have seen the before images you can play a bit of spot the difference. Yes I have cleaned up her skin, standard practice….  What I have done in the Fuji image is simplify the background, this brings more attention to her, and by enlarging up the light source behind it makes for a nicer composition. I am guessing that a few people will be scorning me now…”Oh my God!” “this is an outrage” they’ll say, offended that I didn’t get it all in camera. You know what though, I’d love to live in a massive flat with huge windows that flood in light, but I don’t and if I can change a few things to make it feel more that way then why not, use the tools available I say… The Canon image is a bit more honest, all I did was rotate and crop to get the final composition.

So now for some crops, I am impressed with the Fuji X-Pro1, when you get it sharp, man is it sharp. However I like to shoot wide open so sharpness is not always there for me…. Got lucky with these though hey!

Files @ 50%

Files @ 50%

Files @ 100%

Files @ 100%

Looking at this I would say the canon is sharper, but there really is nothing in it, in all reality its probably just my ability to focus, (as I said its not scientific). So take from this what you will The Fuji X-Pro1 is such an amazing camera and can stand toe to toe in a lot of areas with the Canon 5D mk2, there is a coupe of things it cant do quite as well, auto focus being one, have a look at my wedding photography with the Fuji X-Pro1 blog post where I talk about my frustrations with the Fuji System,

Lets have a quick look at another image comparison, for this image I wanted to make it feel like there was early morning light breaking through the curtains. I basically removed all the light from the room and let a soft stream come through the window.

Canon 5d mk2: 1/80 sec;   f/1.6;   ISO 500

Canon 5d mk2: 1/80 sec; f/1.6; ISO 500

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/64 sec;   f/1.4;   ISO 640

Fuji X-Pro1: 1/64 sec; f/1.4; ISO 640

So here with these it comes down to composition again, the more considered Canon shot wins there… A great test for lo-light photography though. I think both cameras handled it very well.. But we already know they can do that!

Here are the SOOC and capture one adjusted files.

File comparrison

File comparrison

So as you can see there is not to much crazy retouch going on here, just some colour work to add the mood, once again here my preference was the canon file for colour SOOC, this preference made me adjust the Fuji file toward the feel of the Canon in Capture One. So that’s the before and after, again just a little skin clean up was made…

Onto the zooms, Lo-light zooms…

Files @ 50%

Files @ 50%

Files @ 100%

Files @ 100%

For me the winner here is the Canon, but as before that could be my approach, as you can see in the 100% Fuji crop I have missed my focus on the front eye, the focus is just catching the rear eye. Poor technique yes, it could explain the lack of detail in the skin compared to the Canon too. But hey I think they are both beautiful images, the Fuji for a small camera has stood up to the canon…

The more I use the Fuji, especially with the 35mm f1.4 lens, the more impressed I am with it, I love it. But, as I have stated in previous posts, I personally wouldn’t have it as my main camera, but its the best second camera I can think of. I haven’t taken my Canon 7D out of my Pelicase since I bought the Fuji… If your on the fence about buying one I say do it, I was back and forth, yes and no, before I got mine, best decision I made!

If you or anyone you know is in Brazil check out my site for wedding/lifestyle photography based out of Belo Horizonte MG


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15 responses to “Shooting Beauty Portraits – Fuji X-Pro1 vs Canon 5D Mk2 Review: DAY 254”

  1. Jean says :

    Such a shame you don’t compare the same pictures ! please do it again with same aperture, same composition, same everything so we can really compare sharpness, colors and so on !

    • Chad says :

      One is a full frame camera, the other APS-C – shooting them with the same settings wouldn’t give you an accurate comparison if you are trying to match the images. With the lens selections used, FOV is the same between the two and you need to shoot the apertures differently to get the same apparent DOF. In the first example, the Fuji at f/1.4 is just about the equal to the Canon at f/2 in terms of DOF. I’d say this is a good test.

    • Danny says :

      FF sensor against crop sensor… this won’t be fair…^^

  2. Stu says :

    Thanks for the review. BTW, what Film Simulation mode were you using on Fuji? I’m wondering since, as I’m sure you know, the colour and contrast that you get from the SOOC jpg files will change substantially with different film simulation modes.

    • kisskissclick says :

      Hi, I have the Film simulation set to Astia as I used to shoot it a lot, although as I shoot RAW and adjust in capture one and photoshop I don’t think it has a massive bearing on my final outcome.

  3. Amie Reynolds (@AmieLR) says :

    Very useful, Paul, thanks. Thinking of investing in a compact system camera for the portability and have been for a while now. Keep looking around at other possibilities but I am always drawn back to the Fuji X-Pro 1. About to embark on a photography course and just worried that I won’t ever want to use my DSLR again if I get my mitts on one of these before hand.

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  6. Paul says :

    Very interesting Paul. I find that the X-Pro sensor superior to the xtrans II sensors on the new Fujis, giving a much more pleasing skin tone and gradations. Have you tried the newer sensor? Any thoughts?

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